Worthing Theatres triple funds raised over pantomime for Chestnut Tree House

For the past two years Worthing Theatres have united with children’s hospice Chestnut Tree House by welcoming them as their official charity partner for their annual pantomime. The aim of the partnership is to help raise funds and awareness for the Sussex based charity through fundraising events, marketing and volunteer bucket collections across the duration of their Christmas production. The hospice cares for 300 children and young adults from 0-19 years of age with progressive life-shortening conditions.

It was today announced that after their recent production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, £3925.34 was raised; three times the amount they raised the previous year during the Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan.

Theatres staff joined in the fundraising as they worked together to pull off an all-day Santa cycle at the Connaught Theatre. From 9.30am to 4.30pm, the staff cycled non-stop in festive fancy dress on an electronical bicycle provided by South Downs Leisure, until they reached 90 miles; the length of Sussex. The event contributed £268 towards the grand total.

The cast of Snow White also paid a visit to the house in Arundel to meet the children and staff at Chestnut Tree House. Dressed as their characters in the production, Chesney Hawkes (Prince Benedict), Cassie Compton (Snow White), Richard David-Caine (‘Orrible Herman) and Joseph Elliott (Muddles) arrived at the house, and were given a tour of the hospice, originally led by staff members, until one of the children decided to take over and gave them the grand tour.

Worthing Theatres have announced that their 2018 Christmas production will be Aladdin: The Pantomime, which is now on sale. Their official charity partner will continue to be Chestnut Tree House.

Caroline Roberts-Quigley, Community Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House says “When I was told how much had been raised from collections at the panto performances I was genuinely astounded. Thank you so much to everyone at the theatre who helped our volunteers with these collections, and for doing the Santa Cycle making the grand total an incredible £3,925.34. Thanks to Worthing Theatres, the ‘one and only’ Chesney Hawkes has joined us as a Patron to help us celebrate our 15th Birthday this year. We are truly grateful to the theatres for agreeing to support us in this special way over the last couple of years, and we are humbled by their decision to continue supporting us at their forthcoming Christmas panto, Aladdin. The support really does make a difference to everyone who uses our services.”

Worthing Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customer Services Cllr Heather Mercer says “I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of our patrons who donated towards this incredible sum, and the theatres staff for making this possible. To have tripled the funds raised from last year is a fantastic achievement for a very special cause, it is vital to support children’s hospices as they receive less funding than adult hospices, and we look forward to continuing this wonderful partnership.”